Today I turned the soil on my kitchen garden (vegetable garden). I am gradually reclaiming a large area of garden which I had previously allow to grow over with a really strong perennial which spreads by root runners. Two years later I have only managed to get 1/2 of it back and that doesn’t mean that those weeds don’t still come up in the spring. Once I have it all cleared, add some compost and maybe some peat moss it will be time to pound in stakes, wire supports for vine climbing plants etc. In short, I have around a week to plot, that is make plans, for organizing my plot, that is the garden area.
God is often characterized as a gardener. In Genesis 2 we read of him planting a garden and placing man and woman there. He planted every tree that was pleasant of good for food as well as the tree of knowledge. He later walks in the garden at night and it is then that he “discovers” that Adam and Eve have sinned by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. As a result of this they are rejected from the garden and, among other consequences, they will have to toil in the soil to provide food for their survival.
Throughout Jesus’ life and ministry he goes to gardens to pray and he tells nine parables about vineyards and gardens in the Gospels. There is a focus on the seeds in two, one of which is the Parable of the Sower which includes a discussion of the results of sowing seeds in different soil preparation and weeds. Jesus’ final garden experience was that of being buried in a garden tomb and then rising and leaving the tomb three days later. The first person to see him, Mary, assumes that he is the gardener.
Regardless of what plans I make for our garden at my home and how well I manage to follow through with them, I know that God has done it all before and that it is only through his creation that I am here, that there is soil in which to plant, that I have seeds to plant, that the sun encourages growth, and that rain falls to feed them. I am free to plot, but the ultimate plan is not for me to make, it has been in place for all time through God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen